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Antiques Considered - December, 30, 2009

 

A writer from the lower Northern Neck inherited the celery vase that is third from the right from his mother.  Later he found other examples and now has a collection of fifteen pieces, which he displays in an antique cabinet.  He paid very little for any one, and thinks his mother paid about $3 for the original one in the collection.

    In my years of dealing in antiques I have known many collectors of many different things, but this instance is the first of a celery vase collector, although I have seen celery vases in shops and auctions.  Celery vases were a Victorian innovation, offering sticks of celery at the dining table whereby guests each could have one with the salad course at dinner.  Of this group the two most interesting are the original one and the loop glass one in the background immediately behind it.
    The first is a fine example of American Pattern Glass of the late nineteenth century.  It is unusual in shape, and is worth $85, not a bad return on the owner’s mother’s initial $3 investment.  The loop glass vase is earlier, mid-third of the century, and is worth $150.  The others range from $50 to $200 each.  The entire collection is worth well over $1500.
    Collecting unusual items is a great hobby, filled with the excitement of discovery, but one must remember that the items collected might be difficult to sell as a set in that others might not have such interests.  Most collectors like finding their pieces individually, and do not consider buying larger quantities in bulk.
    In selling a set such as this one, should that time come, I recommend either using the Internet, or putting them in a glass auction, to be offered as individuals, followed by a round of bidding for the entire collection.  The collection would go to whichever amount happened to be greater.
Good glass such as these pieces always has a sound market, regardless of the overall economic picture.  These are wonderful pieces and make an excellent presentation as a collection.  Why not have a dinner party for fifteen and serve each guest his or her own sticks of celery?
HAPPY ANTIQUING!
Henry Lane Hull ………………….

 

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